At new employee breakfast: 'we all play a part in reaching students'

Publication Date

Every employee of the College, regardless of where they work, has a part to play in reaching our students.

That was the message from President David R. Harris in his opening remarks at the New Employee Breakfast on Wednesday, May 3.

Harris cited the College’s Vision Statement to remind the Hale House audience of 150 new employees and supervisors of our goal: “Developing every student to lead with wisdom, empathy and courage, in ways large and small, now and across multiple tomorrows.”

Every student experience, he noted, is enhanced by a connection with an employee.

“If you don’t understand that now, you will when alumni return for ReUnion,” he said.

Harris also thanked the staff of Admissions for their work in enrolling the Class of 2027, but added that all faculty and staff have played important roles in recruiting, especially during recent spring accepted student events.

The New Employee Breakfast, organized by Human Resources in partnership with UNITAS and the Union Staff Council, was offered for the second time this year. Plans are to host them every three or four months.

“We are pleased to offer this event as a way to welcome new employees to the College,” said Tye Deines, chief human resources officer. “This is an opportunity for new employees to connect and build a sense of community.”

Attendees also included immediate supervisors, department chairs, new-hire guides, senior staff and chief diversity officers.

After a buffet breakfast, attendees at each table were encouraged to discuss what has surprised them or been their best experience since they started at Union.

Sarah Powell, marketing specialist for enrollment, cited the personal interactions that are often missing at larger institutions, and the enjoyment she has found in helping with re-branding and developing a new school nickname.

Employees of a certain vintage agreed on one of their most memorable moments: April 12, 2014, when Union hockey won the Frozen Four.

Other new employees mentioned being pleasantly surprised by the number of dogs on campus, the strong alumni network, the warm community feel on campus, the accessibility to senior leadership, and the depth of support and kindness they feel from their new co-workers.

Some of the best experiences new employees reported include Homecoming weekend, collaborating with other departments, interacting with students and joining the Social listserv.